Thursday, 27 September 2012

The First NHS Hospital

Here is a good article on Park General Hospital in Trafford, Manchester, the first to open in 1948 as part of the NHS. There is a slideshow about the history of the hospital, but also a wider look at the political, social and economic challenges facing the NHS in 2012 and beyond.

PS: The photo shows Aneurin Bevan, the Minister for Health who was one of the driving forces behind the foundation of the NHS, at the opening of the hospital on 5 July 1948. For more on the history of the NHS, click here - the website is a bit hard to navigate but there is plenty of detail.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Ethiopian Hero of the Korean War

Here is the fascinating story of Mamo Habtewold, who 60 years ago was sent from Ethiopia to fight in the Korean War. He was part of the the Emperor Haile Selassie's bodyguard, and is very proud of his record - at one time he was in a patrol of 15 soldiers who successfully fought off 300 Chinese soldiers.

The BBC World Service has an archive of interviews with people who were eyewitnesses to historic events, from the Battle of Passchendaele in World War One to the murder of Tupac Shakur. You can download and listen to these and many more here.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Is Obama a Tory?

Is Obama a Tory? This article debates that question.

Andrew Marr's Ambitious History of the World

An ambitious new series began last night attempting to cover the entire history of the world in eight episodes. Clearly it was a very difficult task selecting what to include when you have to cover 90,000 years in a short time, and Andew Marr explains the editing process here. Another article suggests 10 events that should have been included that at first sight may not look that important but have turned out to be incredibly significant, such as the creation of industrial ammonia (essential in fertiliser) and the foundation of double-entry book-keeping...

What do you think should be included in a list of the most significant events in the world history? Please let us know.

PS: If you like this sort of global history, have a look at the British Museum's History of the World in 100 Objects page, and there are some other interesting things here and here.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

A Review of Winter King: Thomas Penn

The latest biography on Henry VII. Certainly not a dull King as is often the view! Thomas Penn has also written this article on how Henry re-branded the Wars of the Roses to suit his propaganda. The White Rose had been the principal symbol of the House of York for many years, but the House of Lancaster had rarely used their red rose symbol, preferring to use either a gold rose or even an antelope. By adopting the red rose, Henry was able to demonstrate the uniting of the two houses under his marriage to Elizabeth of York, symbolising an end to the conflict.

Toynbee on the attack

Here is Polly Toynbee's assessment of Cameron's coalition government.  Do you agree?
Toynbee has a new book out with David Walker called 'Dogma and Disarray: Cameron at half-time'.  Not difficult to see what their interpretation might be...

Richard III dug up?

As you may have heard, a team of archaeologists may have found the remains of Richard III in a car park in Leicester, formerly the site of a friary destroyed during Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries.

You can find out more about the dig here and here and on these sites from the University of Leicester and the Greyfriars Project page. For further information on Richard III (albeit slightly biased!), there is plenty of information on the Richard III Society's page.

PS: Here are some further interesting articles:

From the BBC Magazine website - here is the Tudor historian Suzannah Liscombe's view, and an article by David Hipshon focusing on the treachery that led to Richard's death.

From History Today - a sceptical article on the excavations from Linda Porter.